With the well documented issues in commercial flying more and more people have found reasons to turn to private aircraft.
There are a variety of options to consider. The starting point is how often you want to fly privately.
Once you reach about 50 hours of flying a year then fractional aircraft ownership can start to make sense and above 300 or so hours per year whole ownership is worth looking into. Here is some core information to help you understand the options.
All of the major providers have expanded over the last few years. Many now offer a wide range of products and solutions to meet the needs of various clients. If you're looking at the different options and would like a good general overview then download our free Guide to Private Aviation, which includes details on charter, jet cards and fractional ownership. For detailed side by side comparisons of the leading jet card and fractional providers, and a directory of charter operators, then sign up for membership.
The latest news and research on private jets and aircraft is included below.
Much like a travel agent, an air charter broker matches your travel needs to the best available private jet operator at the best price. Whether it's a business trip for your senior staff or the need to fly a large group to an event, brokers have access to the fleets of multiple air charter operators. Many brokers also extend their services to ground and in-flight amenities. Do you need Wi-Fi? Would you like a five-course meal onboard or will a light snack do? How about ground transportation and a hotel room? Brokers can take care of all the details.
There are more than 2,500 air charter operators flying in and out of thousands of airports in the US and thousands more around the world. Likely, there are a few operating at a regional airport near you, ready to provide on-demand private air travel for business and pleasure trips. But how do you know if the charter operator uses an experienced crew or if it will be able to accommodate last-minute itinerary changes?
Jet card owners take note. If you're flying more than 50 hours, you have new options other than fractional aircraft ownership to lower your travel costs. Both CitationAir of Greenwich, CT, and Avantair Inc. of Clearwater, FL, are offering programs aimed specifically at frequent private jet fliers who don't want to own an asset.
Several private jet companies have announced fleet expansions, indicating that business jet travel is increasing as the US economy rebounds from a recession. ARGUS' TRAQPak reports show only a slight increase (4.3 percent) in business flights in 2010 yet spokespersons for several fractional jet and charter jet companies say they are seeing convincing interest from business owners who are looking for products that meet their needs:
In a recent interview in magazine Aviation Week, Netjets CEO David Sokol, stated that Netjets “added 100 net fractional share owners last year.” This was a turnaround from 2009 when the net number was down by 82.
In 2001 Kenny Dichter started the The Marquis Jet Card program, to provide individuals and corporations with access to the NetJets fleet, with a commitment of just 25 hours at a time. With this recent acquisition, Marquis Jet becomes a wholly-owned subsidiary of NetJets.
This holiday season, purchasers of the FlexJet “Napa Valley Edition” jet card will be treated to a rare opportunity to attend an intimate culinary experience with Chef Masaharu Morimoto, along with a pair of all-inclusive passes to Auction Napa Valley, the must-attend wine charity event of the year.